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R-CALF USA, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members are located in 46 states, and the organization has many local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA.
With a very small staff, R-CALF USA is dependent on its 15 directors, several committee chairs and numerous other volunteers. Articles upload to op-ed news are written by various staff or volunteers, and unless recognized in the article, should be attributed to the organization and not an individual.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 R-CALF USA Seeks Confirmation Regarding an Apparent Conflict of Interest in Beef Checkoff Program
"If our information is correct and Weldon Wynn serves both to decide who is to receive Beef Checkoff Program funds (in his official capacity as a CBB officer) as well as to benefit directly from his own decisions (by directly representing the interests of Checkoff funds recipient USFRA), then this is further evidence of the ongoing, insidious and systemic corruption within the Beef Checkoff Program.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 R-CALF USA says KSU COOL Study Conflicts with WTO Findings
"The fact that KSU has issued an implausible study demonstrates just how much manipulative political power COOL opponents -- primarily the multinational meatpackers -- have over our land-grant universities.
Sunday, September 23, 2012 CEO Files FOIA To Determine Role USDA Played In Beef Industry Group
"We hope USDA was not involved in excluding R-CALF USA, but given USDA's refusal to take any remedial action after learning that NCBA (National Cattlemen's Beef Association) had misused hundreds of thousands of producer checkoff dollars, it's not a far stretch to suspect that USDA is complicit in trying to stop us from restoring the credibility of the Beef Checkoff Program," Bullard commented.
Friday, May 4, 2012 FormerGIPSA Chief to Address Independent Cattle Producers in Dakotas
In only his second and third appearances since stepping down from his federal post in January as Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), J. Dudley Butler will be in the Dakotas this month to inform cattle producers about the future competitiveness of the U.S. cattle industry.
Friday, February 11, 2011 Evidence Suggests Corruption Runs Deep in Beef Checkoff Program
R-CALF USA is again calling for a thorough and probing investigation, going back at least 10 years, into NCBA's long history of Checkoff violations. R-CALF USA has furnished investigators with documents that list dates and locations of NCBA's policy activities that should not have been subsidized with Checkoff funds.
Thursday, December 9, 2010 NCBA, NPPC Help Packers Capture U.S. Cattle Supply Chain
Using copies of numerous NCBA charts within its comprehensive comments, R-CALF USA charges that NCBA et al are masking the true condition of the cattle industry by disseminating only partial and ambiguous industry data and omitting relevant data. R-CALF USA states that NCBA et al's actions "have effectively misled many cattle producers by deflecting their attention away from the serious crisis presently facing...
Thursday, December 2, 2010(2 comments)
As Mad Cow Disease Scientist Prusiner Awarded Nat'l. Medal of Science, Group Urges USDA to Withdraw OTM Rule
In a letter sent today to President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, R-CALF USA commended the presidential selection of Stanley B. Prusiner as a recipient of the government's highest honor for scientists - the National Medal of Science... "We urge you to reassess completely your Administration's position regarding USDA's open OTM rule that is undeniably underpinned by the maligned actions of USDA..."
Sunday, November 21, 2010 Congress Hears from Real Producers Why GIPSA Rule Needed
"Rather than bring professional lobbyists to Washington to persuade Congress to support the ongoing corporatization of our nation's livestock supply chains, our Competition Coalition brought actual livestock producers to D.C. to provide firsthand accounts of how their profitability has been improperly squeezed by monopolistic packers and how the GIPSA rule would restrict meatpackers from exercising their monopolistic power,"
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Broken Markets, Broke Cattlemen, Bad Statistics, Worse Economics
"It's interesting that Speer cites about 10 economists who have, themselves, cautioned the industry against tying contract prices to the cash market," Bullard concluded. "As Dr. Taylor points out, based on relative returns, a common-sense "country doctor of economy' would declare the meatpackers and food retailers to be "healthy, bordering on obesity,' but cattlemen as "sickly' and in need of major corrective treatment."
Sunday, November 7, 2010(1 comments)
Meatpacker Apologists Engage in Deceptive Smear Campaign Against USDA Official
"Meatpackers' apologists, some of whom claim to be journalists, are openly engaged in an unethical smear campaign targeted at Dudley Butler, Administrator of USDA's (U.S. Department of Agriculture's) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), who heads the agency charged with overseeing the livestock procurement practices of meatpackers by enforcing the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act,"
Thursday, October 21, 2010 GIPSA Complaint Against Brazilian-Owned JBS Demonstrates Need for GIPSA Competition Rule
"If the allegation proves correct, and if each of the 16 lots of hogs was separately owned by 16 independent hog producers, then the loss alleged in the complaint represents an average loss per hog producer of $21,875," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "For a family sized hog operation, this amount of loss could well mean the end of their ability to stay in business."
Saturday, October 9, 2010 Open Action Alert Regarding GIPSA Rule to All U.S. Cattle Producers
The packer lobby is fighting to derail the proposed competition rule (GIPSA rule) issued by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). They are making outrageous claims that misrepresent the purpose and effect of the GIPSA rule. Unfortunately, very few people understand how the fed cattle market functions, where it is broken, and why the GIPSA rule is urgently needed...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010(2 comments)
Corporate Control Over U.S. Lawmakers Evident In Congressional Letter Attacking GIPSA Rule
Rural America now has proof that the packer lobby --" the handful of multinational meatpacking corporations and their allied trade associations** which has caused the hollowing-out of rural communities for decades --" has infiltrated Congress so deeply that even the President's own political party is refusing to carry out the President's campaign promise to restore competition to agricultural markets for U.S. family farmers
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 Cattle Producers, Farm Advocates Laud Senate Support of USDA's Proposed Livestock Competition Rule
The Senators' "Dear Colleague' letter to USDA comes on the heels of increasingly vehement opposition to the proposed rule by the meatpacking and processing companies. The proposed rule would restore necessary balance between cattle and hog producers and the packers that buy their livestock, and would also prohibit some of the most egregious practices that are now common in the contract poultry industry.
Thursday, August 12, 2010 Is It Because They Have the Truth to Hide? NCBA, AMI, NMA Decline Opportunity for Public Debate
Last month, KSDZ radio in Gordon, Neb., invited these four groups to participate in an open, public debate in light of the new competition rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) that would establish measures to benefit cattle farmers and ranchers and make the U.S. cattle market more transparent and competitive.
Friday, July 16, 2010 NCBA/AMI/NPPC Requests to Extend Comment Period on Proposed GIPSA Rule are Baseless
"As far back as at least 2001 for example, both NCBA and the NPPC formally voiced their objections to granting USDA new authority to "regulate corporate relationships, commercial practices and contracts for the production of agricultural commodities,' and, at the same time, they also have objected to any new laws that would address competition-related issues," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
Saturday, June 19, 2010 Group Calls USDA Rulemaking "Bold" and "Absolutely Essential"
"This proposed rule corrects the core problem that prevents U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers from obtaining relief from the anticompetitive practices of the highly concentrated meatpackers and will help restore competition to our industry by providing a means to discipline anticompetitive behavior," asserted Thornsberry.
Saturday, March 13, 2010(1 comments)
Ranchers, Manufacturers, Organized Labor Push Congress to Develop National Trade Strategy
Visits to approximately 80 congressional offices were made last week when ranchers teamed up with U.S. manufacturers and organized labor groups to tell Congress that current U.S. trade policy has failed America, and it is past time for the U.S. to do what every other major trading nation has already done -" implement a national trade strategy that promotes domestic productivity and economic growth.
Saturday, March 13, 2010(1 comments)
Hidden from Public for Almost 2 Weeks: Canada's 18th BSE-Infected Cow
Yet again, R-CALF USA learned through the rumor mill yesterday that Canada had detected the country's 18th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a 72-month-old Angus cow. Although Canadian officials were purported to have notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) last week, a phone call this morning to OIE revealed that Canada had not yet notified OIE of this latest discovery.
Thursday, January 14, 2010 Group Demonstrates AMI's Attack on COOL Not Factual
"AMI has been fighting for nearly a decade against the public's right to know where their food is produced, but what AMI really is fighting over is control over the cattle and beef markets," Bullard pointed out. "Prior to COOL, meatpackers could source cattle anywhere they could obtain them cheaper.
Monday, November 2, 2009 Stop the Hemorrhaging in U.S. Live Cattle Industry: Producers to President, Congress, USDA and Justice
“The U.S. cattle industry, literally, is the last frontier within the U.S. livestock and poultry industries...It is the only remaining major livestock sector that is not already nearly completely vertically integrated by the mega-meatpackers and processors from birth-to-plate"but this distinction cannot last long under the ongoing and unbearable financial losses plaguing its independent participants.”
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 Canada, Mexico $1.3 Billion Short of Claiming COOL Harm Group Tells USDA, USTR
R-CALF USA's letter contends that economic harm must be measured from a balanced trade relationship and explains that the reason Canada and Mexico cannot begin to measure an economic harm “is because these combined countries continue to enjoy the unmitigated, windfall spoils emanating from an imbalanced trade relationship with the United States, to the tune of $1.3 billion annually.”
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Group Calls Justice Department's Refusal to Block JBS Mega-Merger A Broken Presidential Promise
In our opinion, the Justice Department's action in refusing to fully investigate the antitrust implications of the unprecedented merger between JBS and Pilgrim's Pride ... when these firms both control and market substitutable, competing proteins, is an irrepressible defiance of President Obama's promise to ensure competitive markets for the nation's farmers and ranchers,
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Group Calls NCBA's Attack on COOL Downright Deceptive
Sixteen R-CALF USA officers, directors and committee chairs today sent a strong five-page letter to the NCBA calling NCBA's public response to Canada's Oct. 7, 2009, announcement that it would pursue a complaint at the WTO against the United States' COOL law “intolerable, irresponsible and deceptive, as well as a tremendous disservice to the hard-working men and women who comprise the U.S. live cattle industry.”
Saturday, October 10, 2009 Yet Again, Canada Tries to File WTO Complaint Against U.S. COOL Law
The Canadian government is seeking a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement process over the U.S. mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. A WTO panel is scheduled to hear the request at the Oct. 23, 2009, meeting of WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.
Friday, October 9, 2009 Cattle Producers Could Lose Up to $89/Head if JBS Acquires Pilgrim's Pride
“A loss of anywhere from $7.50 per head to $89.38 per head to the U.S. live cattle industry would have severe ramifications, particularly given the long-run lack of profitability faced by U.S. cattle feeders who have experienced 22 consecutive months of horrendous financial losses,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
Saturday, October 3, 2009 93 Groups to Ag Approps Conference Committee: Eliminate NAIS Funding Altogether
NAIS is a far-reaching 3-step program that calls for every person who owns even one livestock or poultry animal to register their property, tag each animal when it leaves the property it was born on, and report a long list of movements to a database within 24 hours, and these provisions apply whether or not that animal is used for commercial purposes, which will impact millions of animal owners,
Monday, September 28, 2009 Group Urges Justice Department to Block JBS/Pilgrim's Pride Merger
In an effort to protect and preserve a competitive market for independent U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA this week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that it block the proposed merger of Brazilian-owned JBS S.A. (JBS) and Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (Pilgrim's Pride).
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 Group Urges U.S. Trade Representative to Reject Free Trade Agreement with Colombia
In formal comments filed this week, R-CALF USA urged the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to reject the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia (U.S.-Colombia FTA). A notice and request for comments on the proposed FTA was published in the Federal Register by USTR in July, with comments due September 15.
Saturday, September 12, 2009 Group Implores Senate to Reject House Version of Food Safety Bill, Start Anew to Genuinely Improve Food Safety
We have communicated our reasons for opposing H.R. 2749 by explaining the serious and significant flaws in the current U.S. food safety system that the House version would build upon,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry. “In fact, any attempt to remedy our food safety problems by building upon the three failed components currently in place will have the opposite effect that the House intended.
Friday, August 14, 2009 Yet Again, Group Urges USDA to Withdraw NAIS Plans
In formal comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Aug. 3, 2009, R-CALF USA yet again pointed out the errors of the agency's ways if it continues to force upon independent U.S. cattle producers its National Animal Identification System (NAIS): an onerous burden of untold financial implications and an unconstitutional violation of every citizen's private property rights and liberty.
Saturday, August 8, 2009 Group Requests CFTC to Reform Cattle Markets; Joins Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition
Included in R-CALF USA’s letter to the CFTC are requests to prevent packers from engaging in speculative short selling as a strategy to depress cash cattle prices, impose aggregate speculative position limits across all markets, and ensure that speculative position limits be set by physical hedgers.
The CMOC letter explains that the domination by financial speculators “has undermined the commodity markets’ function...
Saturday, July 18, 2009 Group Talks Cattle, Beef Issues with Senate Finance Trade Team
R-CALF USA recently met with members of the Senate Finance Committee Trade Team of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to discuss trade issues important to the U.S. cattle industry, as the trade team traveled throughout Montana to discuss trade issues of importance to Montana industries. R-CALF USA presented the team with its "Overview of International Trade and the U.S. Cattle and Beef Industries."
Thursday, July 9, 2009 Schumacher Loses Over $260,000 from Cattle Sales to Tyson; Now Tyson Wants Schumacher's Home
Herreid, S.D., rancher and cattle feeder Herman Schumacher has suffered losses exceeding $260,000 from the sale of three pens of cattle (984 head) sold to Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. (Tyson) since January 1, 2009, yet Schumacher's three pens of cattle were top performers. "The only conclusion to be reached is that the cattle market is being manipulated by the dominant meatpackers.